Several photos, and a full-blown road test of Harley’s new power cruiser have appeared on the Internet. The road test, at motorcyclenews.com, appears to have been taken down, however. You can see photos at labusas.org. Known as the “V Rod”, according to MotorcycleNews, the liquid-cooled, sixty degree, V-twin puts out 115 horsepower and displaces approximately 1130cc. The styling is distinctive and attractive — a worthy competitor for the power cruisers recently released by Honda and Yamaha. The road test posted by MotorcycleNews stated the bike is shockingly fast (expect low 11s in the quarter mile) and handles well, despite limited ground clearance in the corners.
Expect a splash of stories tomorrow afternoon, but many interested Internet surfers have already seen the pictures and read the ride review featured on the front page of MCN’s website.
If there is a difference in Harley’s approach to the power cruiser category, it is in the use of a higher-tech, water-cooled engine(featuring gear-driven cams, for instance). This is highly ironic, because Yamaha, in particular, was afraid that water cooling would “turn off” buyers in this segment. Frankly, the Harley motor appears to be a full-blown, V-twin, sportbike engine of considerable displacement (1130cc) — owing nothing to previous cruiser engine designs, including Harley’s own engines. Harley, perhaps, had the courage to do this, while the Japanese manufacturers were afraid to alienate Harley loyalists by going this route. As I said, quite ironic.
By the way, a Buell with a version of this same engine should be announced, as well. Expect even more horsepower from the Buell, as well as some innovative technology in the chassis and suspension.